[Yan Krukau, Pexels]

The Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival Returning for 2024

07:00 May 28, 2024
By: Lillian Foster

Celebrating the Return of the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival

The 2024 annual Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival, presented by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, will take place Friday, May 31 through Saturday, June 1 with live music from Sheryl Cormier and the Cajun Sounds, Waylon Thibodeaux, and many more.

The festival, which is located at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz and Heritage Center, celebrates the musical traditions and indigenous sounds of Southwestern Louisiana.

Sheryl Cormier and the Cajun Sounds will kick off the festival in the parking lot of the Heritage Center on Friday at 7 p.m., followed by Cajun musician and Instagram star Jourdan Thibodeaux. Tickets for the concert are $10 and can be purchased at eventbrite.com.

Waylon Thibodeaux, also referred to as "Louisiana's Rockin' Fiddler," will open Saturday's line-up at 3 p.m., followed by musicians Rosie Ledet, Rockin' Dopsie Jr., Gena Delafose, and French Rockin' Boogie. Saturday's concert is free and open to the public, but seating will be limited and is first come, first served.

[Courtesy of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation]

Cajun and Zydeco Music: What's the Difference?

While Cajun and Zydeco music both originated in 18th and 19th century Louisiana, the two genres were born out of very different backgrounds.

In 1755, the Acadians, or Cajuns, sought refuge in Louisiana after being exiled from Nova Scotia. Keeping their folk music alive, the Cajuns blended their traditional French folk songs with African, Native American, and other cultural rhythms to produce the Cajun music that we listen to today.

Zydeco music, with roots in French, African American, African-French, Spanish and Afro-Caribbean styles, was created and played by Creole communities in the early 19th century. Typically featuring the washboard and the accordion, the genre's popularity is often contributed to Clifton Chenier, Boozoo Chavis, and Buckwheat Zydeco.

For more information on the 2024 Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival, visit jazzandheritage.org.

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